CHRISTMAS TREE RESTAURANT IS BACK
For the first time in years, commercial activity in The White Mountains is HOT. Everywhere you look, FOR LEASE signs are coming down, business are opening, and entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and concepts are taking risks with new ventures. One incredible story coming out of this resurgence is the reopening of The Christmas Tree Restaurant located just off Woodland Road, in Lakeside.
Unlike some of these new businesses, The Christmas Tree has a rich history. It all started back in February of 1977 when Carol and Omar Bourassa first opened their business in the old “Fish Homestead” owned by Pearl Penrod. This small restaurant was an immediate success and after a couple of years Carol and Omar decided they needed more space. They contacted the owner of the old Broken Arrow Lodge which was a 9 acre property compete with cabins and a large restaurant which is where The Christmas Tree is located today. Carol and Omar leased the restaurant space for a number of years until they moved to Flagstaff and then to Oregon. In 1986 the owner lost the property to the bank, and Carol and Omar were brought back to the area to reopen the restaurant. After all these years, on December 10th, 1987, Carol and Omar reopened the doors and over the years the restaurant became a local landmark.
In 2006 Carol and Omar sold the restaurant and after two owners the doors finally closed when the recession hit the White Mountains. Now that the area has pulled out of the recession, 3 owners with deep ties to the area have breathed life back into this treasure. The owners consist of Debbie Shadle, Toni Stewart, and Wanda Haumont. Debbie and Toni grew up in the White Mountains and graduated from Show Low High and Wanda owned La Casa Moya restaurant back the late 1970’s. In addition to brining local knowledge, restaurant experience, and connections to their new venture, they also decided to tap into the best resource of all, Carol Bourassa. Carol volunteered to help the new owners open their doors and share her much cherished recipes from the past.
After a few months, the restaurant has been busy and the reviews have been great. The owners attribute a lot of their success to the fact Carol has been involved since day one. In addition to Carol, the new owners have brought back the two original chefs Crystal Newman and Jamie Garcia. The Christmas Tree is located at 455 N Woodland Rd. For reservations, call (928) 367-3107.